Arduino is a microcontroller board that helps to transform any idea into a working product. While designing with Arduino projects we deal with numbers of different modules, hardware and specially a bunch of wires. To make the project look more professional and neat, an enclosure box is needed that will not only enclose the Arduino inside a protective casing but also increase project mobility to carry. Let’s learn more about the Arduino project box.
What Is an Arduino Project Box
The Arduino project box allows us to enclose an Arduino base prototype inside a box to convert into a professional looking product. Project box can take an Arduino board and its peripherals along inside a single box. The Arduino project box is a very crucial component of an Arduino based product that not only encloses the entire prototype but also protects it from any kind of environmental or electrical damages.
Here are some main highlights of Arduino project box:
- Protect Arduino board from variable environmental factors
- Maintain optimum temperature by dissipating extra heat
- Decrease maintenance cost
- Convert Arduino project prototype into a sellable product
- Protect Arduino board from electrical interference
- Reduce project wiring cost
- Increase Arduino product mobility
Why Is Arduino Project Box Necessary
Imagine an Arduino based electronic project which involves handling of water, so there might be a chance that water can easily penetrate in the form of moisture. These types of projects won’t persist much longer because the environment might easily damage them and may be hazardous for its users.
So, engineers that are passionate about Arduino use a box structure that may shield the Arduino project from potential environmental damage and other adverse consequences brought on by uncovered components.These structures are called Arduino Project Boxes.
Key Factors to Consider While making a Arduino Project Box
While designing the Arduino prototype some main key factors need to be kept in mind that helps in designing the Arduino project box. These factors are crucial in determining the longevity of the Arduino project. Some of the main factors are:
Size: Size of the Arduino project box is the most important factor while designing it. While measuring the size and dimension of the Arduino project box keep the final product in mind and leave some space for air ventilation. Enough room should be kept to fit all the required equipment such as battery backup, sensor modules and external circuitry.
Internal Design: As Arduino is an electronic board, it requires special care to protect it from any sort of shorting of wires. Internal design with proper wiring can secure the Arduino project. Internal design can protect Arduino projects from rapid movement and constant vibration that can compromise project performance.
Space and Routing: Another considerable factor while designing an Arduino project box is to design a layout of all the components with enough space to route all the wires without disturbing other components. Simply put an Arduino project along with an external circuit on a flat surface and lay them in the best possible combination with proper wiring. Now transfer the same layout into the Arduino project box. In case of switches try to mount them on the surface of the box.
Accessibility: Most of the time projects that use Arduino can be assembled quite easily, but the room for improvement is always there. As the Arduino project required continuous power supply so we need a more accessible project box that can help us to replace batteries and other frequent replacing of components.
Mounting Holes: Most Arduino boards come with mount holes that can protect Arduino from frequent vibration. Using mounting holes, we can also ground Arduino PCB. An easy way of grounding the project box is to mount some holes and leave some copper on their side; this will protect equipment with voltage surges. External mounting holes are important as they help to place project boxes on different locations like mounting on walls or placing over a car dashboard.
Cooling and Airflow: As in Arduino and other electronic projects the components continuously radiate heat. Continuous overheating can damage electrical components and reduce their life span and performance which may lead to malfunctioning of the entire system. Continuous cooling and frequent airflow are necessary. An external fan can be mounted to reduce the risk depending upon the nature of the Arduino project.
Cost of Arduino Product: One of the vital parts of designing an Arduino project box is defining the cost it takes to design it. Arduino projects are not so costly so neither is their enclosure box. It is an important factor which majority of beginners ignore which results in high cost of Arduino product resulting in less profit margin.
How to Design Arduino Project Box
There are different ways of designing an Arduino project box. Some of the most economical methods include:
A 3D printer is the most affordable way of manufacturing a project box for Arduino. 3D printers read a STLformat file and transform it into a 3D project box by using either resin or filament technology. 3D printers can manufacture complex designs which other machines like CNC and injection printers fail to do. Both plastic and metal project boxes can be designed however downside to 3D printers is they are not as fast as other methods.
Using CNC Machine
Computer numerically controlled (CNC) is a kind of machine that can cut material such as wood, plastic, or metal by using a computer-generated CAD file. CNC machines have an advantage because using the same CAD file we can manufacture plastic as well as metal enclosure boxes. The CNC machine process is repeatable, cost effective and less time consuming. CNC machines can design complex geometric fabrication designs for Arduino projects.
Project box is an enclosure for Arduino projects that protect Arduino and its peripherals from any kind of damage or vibration. Making a DIY Arduino project demands a mount box to assemble all hardware inside a single box. It also gives a nice look to project and increase product mobility. Here this article will guide you to make Arduino a project box and assist you in designing it using the CNC machine or 3D printer.